Saturday, April 10, 2021

Turning Up the Heat: A Writer’s Journey From “Sexy” to “Erotic” by Nancy Fraser


I’ve always enjoyed writing love scenes … the steamier the better. I take pride in the fact my editors often said that they pour themselves a cool drink before they start reading my work. Readers seemed to really like those scenes as well, often mentioning them in their reviews. What more could an author want?

What more indeed?

One day I was editing a short novella and I realized that I was repeating myself. I’d become complacent, relying on tried and true emotions and similar love scenes from one book to the next. I panicked. If I was boring myself, what was I doing to my readers? I needed a jump start on my creativity. And, I needed it fast.

Just how was I going to do that? I truly hadn’t a clue.

A writer friend of mine mentioned her publisher was looking for submissions for an anthology, historical but with sexier elements than their usual books. They were open to almost anything ... same sex, menage, BDSM … the hotter, the better.

Perhaps, I thought, writing one over-the-top novella would re-start my muse. I have to admit, I was worried. I knew I could write a great romance, with hot sex, but could I take it a step further.

I was about 3 chapters into the story when the publisher cancelled their submission call and, because I was working on another project at the time, I put the beginning on a virtual shelf. That was when it happened … something I’d never expected. Something I’d only heard about in conversations among other writers.

The book called to me. It demanded I finish what I’d started.

I’ve been in this business long enough to know … you don’t argue with your muse. So, I kept going. I struggled, especially with the bolder language required of an erotic romance. I’m not a prude by any means and have been known to swear like a sailor when the occasion calls for it. However, there are words that I just find very unromantic. I put my reservations aside, did my research on sexual terms of the time period and kept going.

Slowly but surely, the book took shape. The characters spoke to me in the wonderful 1920’s slang I love so much. Wise up, doll face … get off your keester and bring us joes to life! It’s going to be the bee’s knees when it’s done! And so it went, slowly at first. But then, with the momentum of a great orgasm, the story suddenly took flight!

Now that I’ve written a dozen or so erotic romances (both historical and contemporary), I find myself wanting to write another and another. I want to delve into characters and situations I used to reserve for reading. I’m not sure just how daring I’ll get but I know one thing for certain … I’ll enjoy the process.

Today I wanted to introduce you to my first two erotic romances, both set in the 1920s.

Both are on sale for 99¢!

First, the book that started it all, The Muse.

Decadence, freedom and illegal activities

Everything a sheltered debutante in the mid-1920s could want. When Hyde Park socialite Susan Leland meets up with Evan Forrester for the second time, she makes no excuses for their first meeting—an auto accident in which she broke the young artist’s wrist. She finds the handsome Evan both infuriating and intriguing, yet not quite as intriguing as sultry torch singer Holly Winters, a performer at Susan’s favorite supper club.

A chance to make amends…

By posing nude for Evan to paint. When Susan balks, Evan, not wanting to deal with an innocent, sends her away but not before the arrival of his next model, Holly Winters. As Susan’s preparing to leave, the beautiful and talented singer convinces her to come back the next day—so they can pose together.

Will Susan find happiness in the arms of Evan Forrester—or another?

And then, there’s my multi-award winning, The Mysterious Mrs. Pennybaker.

In the Roaring Twenties…

A former Hello Girl during WWI, widowed Ariel Pennybaker served her country proudly. She now carries on her late husband’s legacy…a home for the many returning, injured soldiers.

With her year of mourning nearly at an end, she’s had enough of her self-imposed celibacy. It’s time to get back in the game.

A chance meeting with a handsome WWI aviator has her imagining thoroughly naughty thoughts. When a second man walks into her life, her naughty thoughts turn downright decadent. What better way to fulfil her fantasies than by sharing both men’s beds?

As tempting as the idea is, Ariel has a huge secret, one she must protect at all costs. And, it’s possible one or both of her lovers is not what he seems.

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If you're a fan of historical romance, more than a bit on the naughty side, I know you’ll love both of these books!

Please come back again all next week for more guests, books and fun. In the meantime, stay happy, stay healthy, stay well read.



Friday, April 9, 2021

UNDER THE APPLE BLOSSOMS by Author Darlene Fredette


Today we welcome author Darlene Fredette to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart with her book, Under the Apple Blossoms, part of the Redford Falls series from The Wild Rose Press.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Is the setting for your book real? If so, have you been there? If it’s fictitious, is there somewhere real that you’ve used as a model?

The setting is a combination of real and fictitious. Redford Falls is based on two places my family loves to visit. Redford Falls is set in the valley here in Nova Scotia. It is close to the province’s capital of Halifax and is surrounded by small towns. Redford Falls Park has several waterfalls, which I inserted from another town that has scenic trails and spectacular waterfalls.

Do you like to read in the genre in which you write? Or, are you adventurous?

While romance is my go-to read, I would have to say I’m a bit adventurous within that genre. Contemporary romance, especially the ones that are heartwarming and I really enjoy humour added in, such as romantic comedies. But I also enjoy a good suspense mystery mixed in the romance, or even some paranormal and fantasy. Of course, throw in a western with a cowboy and I’m hooked.

If you listen to music while you write, what are the top three songs on your playlist?

I have the radio on when I write, but if I am in the zone, I don’t really hear it. Tunes that will get my immediate attention are (but are not necessarily on my playlist) If I Had A Million Dollars by The Barenaked Ladies, Every Breath You Take by The Police, and Something Just Like This by Coldplay. A quick reason for each:  If I Had A Million Dollars is something I say all the time and when the song comes on the radio, me and my daughter will try to be the first to text the other. Every Breath You Take was a song my father loved to listen to on my Walkman (yes, I’m aging myself), so this song fondly reminds me of him. Something Just Like This is the song I have to turn the volume up. I just love that song.

~ ~ ~

About the Book

A tragic accident tore them apart. She left him behind and broke his heart. Is he strong enough to risk it again?

Police officer, Tyler Kringle, keeps his heart locked behind bars. His first and only love, Maripier Nadeau, left Redford Falls many years ago after a family tragedy. She moved on, leaving him to pick up the shattered pieces of his heart.

But now Maripier is home to care for her father and to attend a dedication ceremony in her mother’s honor. Her return rattles Tyler’s cage, causing old emotions to resurface.

Once he discovers the truth from the past, can he reclaim the love of his life and lock-down their future before she leaves again?

~ ~ ~

Read an Excerpt

Glancing in the rearview mirror, she lifted her foot to let the vehicle slow. Stupid. Fleeing the accident and speeding away from the police was a rash judgment call. The kind officer seemed quite taken with her car, and the pony warranted the enthusiasm.

The policeman, whose tall, fit body filled out his uniform, had short dark brown hair with layers blending into the top. She sensed a strange pull toward him, and when he removed his sunglasses and she looked into his eyes, she understood the attraction. It took only a second to make the connection.

The hot police officer was none other than the ex she left behind so many years ago. The revelation soured their casual banter. Seeing Tyler stole her breath, and the clear blue sky turned dark and stormy. Thankfully, he hadn’t recognized her. Maripier expected to see him at some point, but not within minutes of arriving.

Taken aback, she ran. Just like before.

 ~ ~ ~

Meet the Author

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head.

She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador. Darlene’s favorite pastime is taking summer day-trips to the Valley to soak in the small-town feel.

Darlene's Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page

That's it for guest and wonderful new, and not-so-new books this week. Check back for a trip to the Roaring Twenties on Sunday. Then, again next week, when a full week of authors, books, and fun!


Thursday, April 8, 2021

MAIL ORDER: BLAZE by Author Caroline Clemmons

Happy Thursday everyone! Today it is my privilege to welcome good friend and author, Caroline Clemmons, to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart. Caroline is visiting with her new book, Mail Order Blaze, Book 10 of the Secret Baby Dilemma series.

 About the Book


A woman determined to save a child…

A man creating his dynasty…

An escaped murderer determined to get revenge.

After her sister dies at the hands of her brother-in-law, Bernadette “Blaze” Cook is determined to save her twenty-two-month-old nephew from his brutal father. Where better than several states away on a Texas ranch?
Andrew “Drew” Wagner has been looking forward to the arrival of his mail-order bride to start his family and be his docile companion, housekeeper, and cook. When she shows up toting a toddler, he is shocked but willing to accept the child. But he learns his wife earned the nickname Blaze not just because her hair is fiery auburn—she has a temper and the will to protect those she loves.

Blaze and Drew must overcome their differences to battle the evil man determined to destroy them. Will the couple conquer the monster pursuing Blaze and her nephew?

 ~ ~ ~

Read an Excerpt

Bernadette Cook, called Blaze by her family, tiptoed into her sister’s hospital room and whispered, “Anna? Anna, are you awake?”

A slight beckoning movement of her sister’s hand let her know Anna had heard. “Blaze, come in and help me sit up.”

She hurried to the bed. “No, don’t stir yet. You need a lot of rest. Kenny is with the preacher’s wife until I return for him. I’ll make sure he’s well-cared for until you’re well and can take charge. Relax and concentrate on recovering.”

Against the white sheets, her poor sister’s bruises shone dark purple and angry red. The sight forced Blaze to choke back tears for Anna’s pain. Older by four years, Anna had been a good example when they were growing up. Now Blaze was the one who needed to care for her big sister.

Struggling, Anna rose to her elbow and pulled papers from under her pillow. “I’ve written this out for the judge. You’ll need them if Lester succeeds in killing me next time. I sure don’t Kenny living with Lester.”

Never would Blaze let that happen. “Don’t even think about him doing this again, much less killing you.” Blaze knew another beating like this one would surely end her sister’s life.

“He would have this time if you hadn’t arrived. Once you’re a mail order bride, there’s no hope for me unless I can get to where you are. Oh, but Kenny is the one who matters. Promise me you’ll take him when I’m gone.”

Blaze fought for composure, hoping to reassure her sister. “I’ve promised, haven’t I? Please don’t talk like that. I plan for both of you to join me. All you have to do is get well enough to travel. The train goes all the way to the town nearest Mr. Wagner’s ranch.”

She lowered her voice again. “Remember not to let Lester know we’re going to Texas. Keep saying I’m going to Montana Territory so he can’t track you.”

Anna’s split lips curved slightly. “Blaze you’re a dreamer, but I’m grateful you’ve included me in your future. Sister, something is wrong and I... I don’t think this baby will be all right. I don’t think I will be, either.”

Blaze’s voice caught in her throat. “What did the doctor say? Has he mentioned anything is wrong?”

“No, but a woman knows these things. I remember when I had the two miscarriages and then when Kenny was born and the months prior to his birth. I feel different now, not all the way I did any of the other times. Something has changed inside me.”

Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Meet the Author

Caroline Clemmons, through a crazy twist of fate, was born in town instead of on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their two rescued indoor cats—Sebastian the tuxedo cat, and Jasmine the shy Balinese—and their Shih Tzu, Chloe, as well as providing nourishment outdoors for a collection of wild critters who stop by to dine.

The books she creates in her pink cave have made her a bestselling and award-winning author. She writes both sweet and sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery.

When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading books written by her friends, eating out, browsing antique malls, researching genealogy, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap.

 Website ~  Facebook ~  Twitter ~  Amazon Author Page

Goodreads ~  Pinterest  ~  Bookbub ~  Newsletter


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

THE HEALING SUMMER by Author Liz Flaherty

Welcome to Wednesday! Today it’s my pleasure to welcome friend and USA Today Bestselling Author, Liz Flaherty, to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart. Liz is here today to talk about her book, The Healing Summer. Let’s start with a few questions for Liz.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Is the setting for your book real? If so, have you been there? If it’s fictitious, is there somewhere real that you’ve used as a model?

Peacock, Tennessee isn’t real, but I planted it in the area around Kingsport. My sister-in-law lives there and it’s just so beautiful. The town itself is more like Boone, North Carolina, St. Johnsbury, Vermont, or Madison, Indiana. They are small, which always makes me happy, and they have so much to offer. I just used a little from each of them.

If you could trade lives with any other writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I chose this question because I thought it was interesting—it’s also hard. I like being myself a lot, but I think I’d trade places with a trad author who writes one or one and a half really great books a year, makes a nice living writing, travels when she wants, and interacts with her readers. I can’t give this person a name because in truth every life has some rain falling in it—sometimes deluges of it—and I might not want their deluges!

Do you like to read in the genre in which you write? Or, are you adventurous?

Genre isn’t the biggest selling point for me, although I love women’s fiction best. I like to read anything where the author’s voice resonates with me. I have to admit, though, that I read for entertainment. If it’s violent, or there’s more sex than story, or the protagonists aren’t likable, I’m not interested. Not that they’re bad stories—I just don’t want to spend time with them.


About the Book

It’s a summer romance--what happens come September?

When Steven Elliott accidentally rides his bike into Carol Whitney’s car at the cemetery, the summer takes on new and exciting possibilities. Long friendship wends its way into something deeper when their hearts get involved.

Feelings neither of them had expected to experience again enrich their days and nights. 

But what happens when the long summer ends? When Carol wants a family and commitment and a future, Steven isn't so sure. He’s had his heart broken before—can he risk it again?

Amazon ~ B&N/Nook ~ Google Books ~ Kobo

Read an Excerpt

“Were you hunting me?” She should have waited to get her breath back—she sounded like a vamp from one of 1940s movies that were on really late at night when you couldn’t sleep. “When we met on the road, I mean.”

“Huh?” He sounded nonplused, and she felt like cheering. She wasn’t the only one who’d been kissed stupid—he wasn’t doing so well, either. “Oh, yeah.”

“Yeah?” She turned away, starting to put away the abandoned groceries. If she couldn’t see him, she would neither hyperventilate nor jump his bones. Maybe.

“Want to?”

Want to what? That? Did she want to? Hell, yes, she wanted to. But they were just barely aware of each other, and he was going back to his big city life and big city friends in a matter of weeks. Although he’d probably spend some weekends at Miss Abigail’s and possibly even open an office in Peacock the way he’d mentioned, he wasn’t good relationship material.

Even more, in Carol’s mind and she thought probably in his, he was still Promise’s. The thought sobered her and stilled her hands. Oh, Promise.

“What did you…why did you want me?” she asked, trying to insert some sense into the conversation, some mental cold water on her still-shrieking girl parts.

“Dinner.” He pulled his hair back into a band he took from his pocket—he never seemed to run out of ponytail holders. “Would you like to go to dinner? And shop for cars? I know you’re not going to the beach this summer, but I’ll buy you a girly drink with an umbrella in it and you can pretend.” He ran a finger lightly down the strap of her dress. “You can wear one of these dresses, although probably not this one, since I seem to have decorated it with sawdust and sweat. Oh, wait.” He held up both hands to stave off an answer. “Grace told me it was rude to suggest someone wear something in particular, so I take that back. Wear whatever you like.”

“When and why did Grace tell you that?” She refilled their tea glasses and handed him his. She took a long drink, hoping the cold brew would serve to cool down her insides.

Well, that wasn’t working—she was pretty sure she felt them sizzle.

“Thursday. She was going to afternoon tea over at the Old Farts Home, something they’ve apparently decided to have every Thursday. You stay for it, too, don’t you, after you get their hair and nails all prettied up? Anyway, she had on her overalls, complete with grass-stained knees, and I said, very politely, ‘Holy shit, Grace, are you wearing those?’ She didn’t respond well.”

“I’m amazed.” She shook her head.

“I was, too,” he said righteously. “I was only trying to help.”

Even if she could have resisted the hormonal storm that had overtaken her kitchen, Carol had no defense against his laughing dark eyes. “Okay, thanks. I’d like to go to dinner. And you’re sure it’s all right if I wear whatever I please?”

His gusting sigh should have made the kitchen curtains stir. “Yes. Fine. Can I use your phone to call Dillon and ask him to bring my truck up the hill?”

“Sure, or we can walk down if you’d rather.” Carol was surprised at how much she was enjoying the walking these days, especially when it was downhill.

“You wouldn’t mind?”

“No.” She grinned at him. “But you have to take a shower. I do have some standards on dates.” She gasped as soon as the words left her mouth. “I’m sorry. I know this isn’t a date. We’re friends who kissed…accidentally. This is dinner, not a date. Right?”

He smiled, a slow and lazy expression that turned her stomach over. And over again. “Wrong.” He came over and kissed her once more. Thoroughly. “It’s a date.”


Meet the Author

Retired from the post office and married to Duane for…a really long time, USA Today bestselling author Liz Flaherty has had a heart-shaped adult life, populated with kids and grands and wonderful friends. 

She admits she can be boring, but hopes her curiosity about everyone and everything around her keeps her from it. She likes traveling and quilting and reading. 

And she loves writing.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ BookBub ~ Goodreads ~ Newsletter Signup

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It’s been a wonderful Wednesday! Please come back again soon. I’ve got guest authors and books nearly every day this month.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

HIDDEN BETRAYAL by Author Kari Lemor

Today, I’m pleased to welcome friend and author, Kari Lemor, to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart. She’s here to tell us all about her new book, Hidden Betrayal, and to answer a few of our nosy questions! You know how much we love great answers!

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Is your book based on real-life experience or a figment of your imagination?

The plot of Hidden Betrayal is not based on any real-life event, however Charlotte’s condition is. She has Aortic Stenosis. It is a heart condition where the heart valve is too narrow. There’s only a pin-size hole for the blood to go through. My brother has this condition and my stepmom also had another child with this who died within a few days of birth. His name was Timothy. In the book, Charlotte’s parents also had a son named Timothy who died of this and it is why Charlotte is so overprotected and pampered.

Is the setting for your book real? If so, have you been there? If it’s fictitious, is there somewhere real that you’ve used as a model?

Much of the book takes places in the mountains of Vermont. I don’t name a specific town or area of Vermont, but I have been to the state on many occasions and try to describe the location accurately. The chalet they stay at first is based on a chalet my family went to on a vacation many years ago when I was young. This one was on Lake Chocorua in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The playground and pond Drew and Charlotte hike around and have fun in is based on where we stayed in New Hampshire.

What has been the most unusual experience you’ve had that you have written into a book?

My life isn’t typically wild and crazy, but I did have one event that I used in a book. I was playing with my then 3 year-old grandson and we were building a cushion fort. I placed an afghan over the top, then peeked through one of the loose holes to see him. He got scared and jumped up, bumping his head into my face. I went flying back, blood gushing from my nose. (yes it was broken) Luckily my husband was in the next room and got the boy calmed down while Mimi mopped up the blood. I used this in my book, Broken Dreams, with Darcy and the boy she nannies for, Tanner.

About the Book

Trust is more precious than jewels…

Getting caught in the middle of a jewelry heist was not on Charlotte Silva’s plans for the day. Nor was being taken hostage with sexy lawyer, Andrew Thayer. Lucky for Charlotte, the ex-soldier helps her escape but not without consequences.

Drew Thayer has one job to do. Hide out in a remote Vermont cabin protecting the pampered heiress from killer jewel thieves hot on their trail. But Charlotte isn’t the spoiled princess she projects, and the desire she inspires shocks him.

Drew’s boss, the State Attorney, has suspicions around Charlotte’s involvement in the heist. If she finds out Drew’s hidden agenda, their tentative truce and growing feelings could all be shot to hell. Unless the jewel thieves get to them first…

Read an Excerpt

They stayed holding hands as they walked through the woods. She took him down the path that led to the lake, and they paused to admire the sparkling water.

“Can you swim in it?”

“If you’re not an overprotected invalid, sure. Otherwise, according to my parents, it’s a cesspool of infectious microorganisms that could kill you. See? There’s a beach over there. It’s probably too cold to go in now.”

“A little cold water is going to stop you?” His eyes gleamed with mischief. “It’s seventy-five degrees outside. I thought you were an adventurous person.”

“Are you daring me? Because I’d have to dare you back.” With that, she walked to the edge of the water and kicked off her shoes, then threw her jacket on top of them. As she slid her hands under the waistband of her capris, his eyes widened, and his jaw slacked.

“You aren’t seriously going to peel off your clothes and jump in.”

She tugged the waistband down a few inches more, waiting for his reaction. He swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down.

“Well, I didn’t bring anything to swim in, so looks like I’ll have to use my birthday suit.”

She wouldn’t do it. The last thing she wanted was Drew, or any man, seeing her ugly, scarred skin, but it was fun to tease him. His reaction made her chuckle.

“I wouldn’t want you to get sick and catch something while I’m responsible for you. Maybe the water is too cold.” He edged toward the lake and swished his hand through the crystal-clear liquid. “Yeah, not exactly bathwater.”

His words about being responsible for her should have made her see red, but since she was the one who’d pushed him, she let it slide. Strutting toward him, she splashed into the water and did her best not to shiver at the chill on her feet. Definitely too cold to swim today, but she could take it on her feet for a short while.

“Oh, I don’t know, it’s actually kind of refreshing,” she lied. “Maybe you should strip down and join me.”

As he caught on to her teasing, he grinned and shrugged the backpack to the ground, then tossed his hoodie on top of it. His hands reached for the hem of his T-shirt and pulled up. Lord Almighty, those were some fine abs. Then, he bent over laughing and lowered his shirt.

“Okay, so you got me. We don’t have time for swimming right now, anyway.”

Tugging her waistband back into place, she winked at him. “Too bad. It’s been a while since I’ve been skinny dipping with a handsome man.”

Meet the Author

Kari Lemor has always been a voracious reader. One of those kids who had the book under the covers or under the desk at school. Even now she has been known to stay up until the wee hours finishing a good book. Romance has always been her favorite, stories of people fighting through conflict to reach their happily ever after.


Writing wasn't something she enjoyed when young and only in the last few years began putting the stories that ran rampant in her head, down on paper.


Now that her kids are all grown and have moved out, she uses her spare time to create character driven stories of love and hope.


She lives with her husband and they split their time between a small town in New England and beautiful St. Augustine. Being near the ocean is her dream location. 

Kari's Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads ~ Bookbub

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That's it for my Tuesday! Please come back again tomorrow when we'll welcome yet another author and another book!


Monday, April 5, 2021

A RECKLESS HEART by Author Jennifer Wilck

Happy Monday everyone! Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome author, Jennifer Wilck, to the blog. Notes From a Romantic’s Heart is pleased to feature her book, A Reckless Heart, from The Wild Rose Press.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Is your book based on real-life experience or a figment of your imagination?

While I might incorporate a tiny piece of reality into my books—such as the discussion in A Reckless Heart about how Meg’s grandmother came to the United States and used Scrabble to learn English—99% of all of my books are complete figments of my imagination. I much prefer that, since it enables me to create worlds I want to live in, and offer responses and comments that I wish I could make in real life.

If you could trade places with one of the characters from your book, who would it be and why?

Well, I don’t think I’d like either Meg’s or Simon’s backstory. However, if I could trade places with one of them, I’d choose Meg. She is brave and loyal, and she creates a new life for herself with good friends.

Is the setting for your book real? If so, have you been there? If it’s fictitious, is there somewhere real that you’ve used as a model?

No, the setting is fictitious. A Reckless Heart takes place somewhere in Maine, and while I visited the state a long time ago, nothing about what I’ve described is real. Again, like my characters, this setting is a stylized, fantasy version of where I’d like Meg and Simon to live. However, therapy gardens ARE real and provide essential assistance to those who need them.

~ ~ ~

About the Book

Meg Thurgood, former society girl, took the blame for her friend and paid a steep price. Now all she wants is solitude and a chance to rebuild her life. She thinks she's found that in an isolated house she rents from a mysterious stranger.

Simon McAlter has hidden in his house on the coast of Maine since a fire left him scarred. A successful landscape architect who conducts his business and teaches his classes remotely, he's lost his inspiration and is trying to pretend he's not lonely. 

Simon's new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg's secret, will he retreat into the shadows or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg's love?

Get it here: Amazon ~ B&N (Nook) ~ Apple ~ Kobo

~ ~ ~

Read an Excerpt

“Let’s watch a horror movie.” Meg flopped on the couch and wiggled into the soft cushions.

There was a beat of silence before Simon turned away from her and poked at the logs in the fireplace, sending sparks up the chimney. “I’m not a big fan of horror movies.”

She liked horror movies because the monsters were obviously fake. You didn’t have to dig deep, to wonder about anything. It was black and white. Meg’s heart constricted. She hadn’t thought about it from Simon’s perspective. Did he consider himself a monster?

Could this amazing man see himself in those movies? Her throat thickened. She wanted to run away and cry. But he’d think she ran from him. With a deep breath, she sorted through the list of her favorites in her mind and threw away several until she thought of the perfect one.

“How about Dracula?” Her voice rasped past the emotion, but she forged ahead. “The old one. It’s totally cheesy, which makes it funny. ‘I vant to suck your blood!’ ” she said with a fake accent.

“Do you?” he asked. Returning the poker to the rack, he walked toward her, and held out his arm, wrist up.

She took it in her hand. His skin was warm beneath her fingers, his pulse steady, and the hair on the other side of his arm was wiry. She stroked her thumb along the inside of his wrist. His breath stuttered. She wondered what he’d do if she kissed him. Desire flooded through her. Never mind him, what would she do?

“Next time,” she said. She was brave, but maybe not that brave, at least not yet.

Slowly, he lowered his arm to his side, but remained close enough his knees brushed hers. His skin was flushed, his eyes ablaze. Heat pulsed between them. After a moment, he stepped away, as if he wasn’t brave enough either. “Do you want popcorn?”

~ ~ ~

Meet the Author

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jennifer's Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

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Friday, April 2, 2021

THE STORY BETWEEN US by Author Darlene DeLuca

Notes From a Romantic’s Heart is pleased to welcome author Darlene Deluca to the blog today to talk about her book, The Story Between Us, from The Wild Rose Press.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

If you listen to music while you write, what are the top three songs on your playlist?

I often listen to music before I start writing just to get me in the mood. Top 3 songs:

1. Faithfully by Journey

2. You'll Accomp'ny Me by Bob Seger

3. Fight song by Rachel Platten

The first two are to set the stage for writing romance. The last one is for me to get energized and get some pages cranked out!

Is your book based on real-life experience or a figment of your imagination?

Totally made up! I'll use settings that are real, for example "The Story Between Us" takes place in Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma, but that's about it. I enjoy making up the places, people and storylines. I usually start with a character who has an interesting career, situation or encounter and the story blossoms in my head from there. I used to be a journalist, and everything was fact-based who-what-when-where. Writing fiction is much more fun.

Do you like to read in the genre in which you write? Or, are you adventurous?

I read a lot of different kinds of books but my preference is definitely the same genres in which I write -- contemporary romance and women's fiction. I belong to a book club that reads a little bit of everything, so it does get me out of my comfort zone and exposes me to books I wouldn't otherwise pick up. Sometimes we'll read a classic, non-fiction or mystery. The last session I led, I actually chose a historical fiction: "The Alice Network." Even though it was set in both WW l and ll, it focused on the lives of two women -- right up my alley!

About the Book

Her agent warned her not to get attached to a fan. But children's book author Kristen Hanover is about to break the rules. Kristen meets a young boy who is a victim of a tragic accident and is drawn into the heartbreaking situation.

Six years ago, Reed Armstrong never imagined he'd actually become guardian of his sister's boy. Now he is, and most days he's not sure he's up to the task.

When he and Dylan meet Kristen, Reed downplays his nephew's crush on the author. But as their lives become unexpectedly intertwined, he finds himself captivated as well.

Trouble is, she sells stories for a living. Does she truly care about Dylan…and Reed...or is she using them for her own career advancement?

Read an Excerpt

Reed pulled his keys out of his pocket. In the doorway, he folded his arms and leaned against the casing. “Can I ask you a question?”

Chest pounding, Kristen forced a smile. “Of course.” She took a couple of steps toward him and braced a hand against the back of the sofa.

“Is writing your only reason for being here?”

Heavy, charged air closed around her. How to answer that? Honestly, of course, but…how honestly? “Well, writing is my goal for sure. But—” She glanced around the room before looking at him again. “I’d love to ride my horse, er, Star, and spend some time with…with people I like, too.”

As he pushed off from the door, a slow grin spread across his face. “Sounds like an excellent plan.” He sauntered closer. About a foot away, he stopped. “You’re good with dinner at the main house tonight? Don’t let Dylan bully you. You decide.”

She gave a shaky laugh. That was the plan, right? She couldn’t remember for sure. Her brain was going fuzzy. “I’d love to,” she managed to say.

He leaned closer, his breath warm on her cheek. She braced herself for a friendly peck, but when her eyes fluttered shut, his lips grazed hers. Hovered there, and when she thought her legs might give out, Reed caught her arm and pulled her slightly toward him, his lips covering hers again.

Sparks exploded in her brain, and she grabbed hold of his arm. All of her senses came alive and responded to the unexpected deluge.

A long moment later, he pulled back and brushed a thumb across her cheek. “See you in about an hour.”

Kristen could only nod. As soon as the door closed behind him, she collapsed against the sofa. She ran a finger along her bottom lip. That kiss…Oh, man. The chances of her getting any writing done this weekend just dropped from unlikely to who-said-anything-about-writing?

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Meet the Author

Darlene Deluca writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and likes to explore relationships – what brings people together or keeps them apart.

Her intent is to bring to life interesting characters that readers can relate to in real-life situations that combine a little fun, plenty of drama (with perhaps a tear or two), and big helpings of friendship, love and self-discovery, and will leave readers either cheering or sighing with a satisfied smile as they turn the final page.

The Kansas City author enjoys getting lost in a good story with a glass of tea, a bit of dark chocolate and a warm, sunny beach.

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